Controversial imam charged with inciting violence

Police raided the Winterthur mosque last November and detained the controversial imam Keystone

Public prosecutors have called for an 18-month suspended prison sentence for an imam at a mosque in the northeastern city of Winterthur, who is suspected of inciting violence.

This content was published on August 11, 2017 - 14:07 with agencies/us

The Zurich prosecutor’s office announced on Friday that it also wanted the Muslim cleric to be banned from Switzerland for 15 years.

Criminal proceedings against an Ethiopian imam and three other suspects were opened last November. A date for the trial still has to be set.

The move comes amid heightened sensitivity to the risk of Islamist violence in Switzerland. The federal authorities say they have identified more than 500 internet users with Swiss connections who were using social media to spread jihadist ideas.

Mosque closed

The controversial cleric was arrested ten months ago, and the An’Nur mosque was closed in June after a rental contract for the premises was not renewed. 

Police raided the mosque after receiving evidence about a sermon by the imam calling for the killing of Muslims who refuse to participate in communal prayers.

The suspect has been charged with distributing pictures of executions via the internet. The prosecutor also accused the cleric of violating labour regulations by working without a permit.

The An’Nur mosque has caused controversy over allegations that it had connections to terrorist groups and encouraged the radicalisation of young Muslims. The mosque has rejected the allegations and blamed the media for running a campaign against it.

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